Help please, graphics card failure?

Hi folks, I could use some help:

This morning I started up my PC and briefly loaded a game. After a few seconds the black boxes appeared across the screen, almost like a chess board, and then the PC locked up and restarted. Since then I can only get the graphics card to work in safe mode. Attempting to boot normally results in 'no signal' being output to the monitor.

I have tried some obvious things like uninstalling and reinstalling the graphics driver, using a restore point, or running the Windows 10 repair disc utility.

I had the bright idea of trying to fall back on the Intel 4600 chipset on my i7 4790k, however I can't start the PC with this either as it fails to start in a loop ('Video_Scheduler_Internal_Error'). I have a feeling this may be because the nvidia card is still installed ... although again if I start in safe mode, it works??

The card in question is an old GTX 770 2GB. I had been considering replacing it for a while, but prices of GPUs are pretty crazy right now, so I've been putting it off.

I don't have a lot of experience of troubleshooting hardware, although my instinct is that the graphics card has failed or is failing - is there any more troubleshooting I can attempt? Unfortunately I do not have access to another PC, or an alternative card to try.

If it helps, the motherboard is an Asus Z97-K. The machine is about 4 years old, but I was otherwise fairly happy with its performance and not intending to upgrade much. 16 GB ram, Windows 10 64 bit, updated regularly.

Yeah, that sounds like a dead card. It could be a cooling failure; watch the card when you power the machine on to be sure that the fans are spinning. But, given the symptoms, I'm inclined to think that it's probably outright busted... even if it is a cooling failure, the hardware may be damaged from that failure.

Assuming the fans are spinning, your other idea seems pretty good, to switch to the onboard video, at least for the moment. That'll suck terribly for games, but it will let you use the computer for other tasks. Pulling the 770 would, I suspect, stand a pretty good chance of fixing the error you're seeing. (which is another implication of hardware failure.)

If the machine comes up fine sans 770, then it's just a matter of replacing it. As you've noted, that stuff's expensive as heck right now. Someone might have a used card they'd let you have real cheap; a 770 should be roughly comparable to a 960 or a 1050, so you wouldn't need anything terribly powerful to at least match what you had before. The cheap video cards are still pretty cheap, it's the stronger ones that are scarce and expensive.

If you can live with onboard video awhile, or can get something to tide you over, then it's a matter of lucking into a video card at a reasonable price. Most of the time, they're horribly expensive, but small batches come in at retail pricing and immediately sell out, so if you can sneak into that window and get one, you'd be fine. It's just a matter of being patient. You can have one right now if you're willing to pay through the nose; if you want one cheap, you'll have to wait and get somewhat lucky.

Use this once you go shopping: http://thebottlenecker.com/

Also, check our Trading Post thread as people frequently sell or give away stuff there.

Thanks to both of you. I pulled the card and it booted first time. So hopefully I can continue using the PC while I decide what to do next.

Me erring on the cost of a replacement card was more down to the fact that I don't like to feel I'm paying through the nose, and while the old card still worked adequately I wasn't in a rush to replace it. I can buy a replacement, I'll just have to deliberate on which one.

A quick look online suggests a GTX 1060 6GB will run me around £300, a 1070 is around £550. That's quite a big difference, and I only need 1080p. You can probably tell I'm not a stickler for the highest frame rates or graphics settings On balance the 1060 seems the best option.

Is there a brand that's preferred around these parts - MSI, EVGA, Gigabyte etc?

EVGA would be my top choice due to support and reputation. ASUS, Zotac, and Gigabyte would follow. MSI is the only one I tend to avoid these days. Their hardware is generally good, but they've been lacking in warranty support and ability to write code without messing something up.

EDIT: By the way, picking a decent hardware manufacturer based on any given criteria has always been somewhat of a moving target. My opinion of MSI only changed within the past decade, and is tinged with disappointment. Some of my first self-built PC compatibles were based around MSI motherboards. I keep hoping for a turnaround.

babakotia wrote:

A quick look online suggests a GTX 1060 6GB will run me around £300, a 1070 is around £550. That's quite a big difference, and I only need 1080p. You can probably tell I'm not a stickler for the highest frame rates or graphics settings On balance the 1060 seems the best option.

AMD isn't much available in the UK? If sticker price is the issue then that would be the way to go.

What resolution is your monitor?

garion333 wrote:

AMD isn't much available in the UK? If sticker price is the issue then that would be the way to go.

What resolution is your monitor?

Standard 1920x1080. And yeah I could go ATI, it's just that I've always bought nvidia.

I have a 600w PSU so I should be ok there.

I had a similar experience to yours with a graphics card. It turned out to be bad capacitors on the video card and was an issue. In my case, the card was pretty new and turned out to be an issue with a whole batch from the manufacturer. Given the age of your card, it's probably just it's time.

The Nvidia GTX 1050Ti or 1060 will do more or less everything you want at the 1080p resolution on a standard 60Hz refresh rate. That's probably what you have. If you have (or were thinking of maybe getting) a higher resolution 100+ Hz refresh rate (like 144 Hz), then a GTX 1060 and probably 1070 is more of the ideal.

Articles on this very subject from Tom's Hardware, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and PC Gamer.

Just to conclude this thread, I was able to replace my busted card with a GTX 1060. Installed without any problems and seems to be running fine. Thanks to everyone for their help - gaming has been resumed now